Let’s face it; riding electric scooters on smooth, tarmacked surfaces is enjoyable.
Better still, when you ride on the streets as you showcase your beefy and colorfully lit ride.
However, local laws vary from one state to another, and you could find yourself in trouble for breaking motor scooter laws.
Our today’s ultimate guide will look into the legality aspect of e-scooters on the streets and if there is any threshold you need to meet to ride on a specific street.
Read on for the juicy details.
Table Of Contents
Are Electric Scooters Street Legal?
Federally, electric scooters are street legal in the US. However, different states provide different conditions for electric scooters to be ridden in their states.
Most of these requirements are based on the rider’s minimum age and if a driving license is required.
Are Scooters Street Legal in the US?
The different scooter types are legal to be ridden on the streets in the US.
But as it’s the case with electric scooters, the specific applicable laws about riding on streets are dependent on the different states.
States where scooters are street legal and their legality thresholds
This table shows the states where scooters can be legally ridden on the streets:
|South Dakota||Vermont||North Dakota||Tennessee|
|Missouri||Texas||West Virginia||South Carolina|
Different countries’ legality threshold
While e-scooters may be legal to be ridden on your state’s streets, it’s also vital to note that there might be some legal requirements you must meet.
Since some states have gray scooter laws and don’t offer any restrictions or ask for any requirement to be met, we will leave those out and focus on those that do.
Georgia street scooter riding laws
The GMSP has a scooter rider education course where they invite owners to go along with their scooters, and if they succeed, they will receive a license waiver.
To be ridden on the streets, the scooter should:
- Be above 50CC and less than 500CC
- Be registered and insured
- Be street legal.
The maximum speed while riding on Georgia roads is 20 mph, and the highest scooter weight allowed is 100 lbs.
These are the local mopeds and motor scooter laws in NYC:
- Riders must be aged above 16
- Riders under 18 must wear a helmet
- The speed limit is 20 miles per hour
- It’s prohibited to ride on sidewalks
- Riders shouldn’t ride on roads with a speed limit above 30 mph.
Scooters should not be ridden on highways and sidewalks, and riders must possess a valid driving license to ride on the streets legally.
According to California law and California vehicle code, scooters should not ride past 15mph and shouldn’t ride on sidewalks.
Again, riders under 18 must always wear a helmet on the streets or a bike lane.
Riders must be above 16 to ride electric motor scooters on Ohio streets.
The maximum speed on the streets is 20 mph, while the heaviest scooter weight permitted is 100 lbs.
Massachusetts regards scooters as motor vehicles. Riders should protect others and themselves from personal injury.
Wearing a helmet is mandatory, and scooters have a maximum speed limit of 20 miles per hour.
Again, as with a motor vehicle, scooter riders must own a drivers license to be allowed on Massachusetts streets.
Scooters can be ridden on any street in Louisiana, provided it has a speed limit.
The maximum speed allowed for scooters on the streets is 25 mph, and riders aged below 17 are always expected to wear helmets.
Riders must be above 16 to keep their scooters on North Carolina streets.
These rides should have a DMV registration and avoid streets with a speed limit of above 25 mph.
Riders must be aged above 14 to ride their scooters legally on Virginia streets.
Virginia’s electric scooter law states that the maximum street speed is 20 mph. No motorized scooter should weigh above 100 lbs.
The North Dakota traffic law categorizes scooters as mopeds. As such, it has to have efficient brakes and bright lights.
A moped rider under 18 must wear a helmet to avoid a scooter accident. A rider is also reminded to avoid a motorized bicycle lane.
Cities are mandated to develop electric scooter laws for the streets, but generally, riders must be 16 years and older.
Again, riders shouldn’t exceed a maximum speed limit of 15 miles per hour, and a helmet is highly encouraged to prevent bodily injury.
Owners must be above 14 to ride mopeds and motorized scooters in Oklahoma.
For the speed limit, this state seems to be one of the most liberal as they allow scooter and moped drivers even on roads with a max speed limit exceeding 35mph.
The same laws that apply to an electric skateboard also apply to e-scooters in Michigan.
Riders must only stay on streets with maximum speed limits of 25 miles per hour and avoid any public road above a maximum speed limit of 30 miles per hour.
The other crucial street laws to follow are that it’s illegal to overtake someone in traffic, and the scooter must have rear and front lights visible from a distance of at least 600 feet.
Riders aged between 14 and 15 years must own an M2 permit, while those above 16 should have M1 or M3 permits.
Scooters with a peak power output of 750W are also not allowed on Alaska streets.
States where scooters are street illegal
While scooters are federally legal to be ridden on United States streets, some states decided to ban scooters on their streets for some reason.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
Frequently Asked Questions
Are electric scooters street-legal in Texas?
Yes, electric scooters are legal on Texas streets. They don’t need to be registered for street riding, nor is there any liability insurance needed for a scooter.
However, they are prohibited from roads with a maximum speed limit above 35 mph.
Are scooters legal in Georgia?
Yes, scooters are legal in Georgia. Scooter riders should be aged above 15 and have a limited permit, instructional permit, or a valid driver’s license.
Do you need a helmet for a scooter?
You need a helmet for your safety while riding an e-scooter, even if it’s not a legal requirement from your state.
Riding your best electric scooter on the streets is enjoyable, but ensuring you are within the legality threshold is crucial.
You will have the peace of mind that you are doing responsible riding and avoid an altercation with law enforcement officers.